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Obituaries

July 23, 1999

Jun Eto; Japanese Literary Critic

Jun Eto, 66, one of Japan's most outspoken literary critics. Eto became known when he was a student at Keio University and wrote commentary about the Japanese novelist Soseki Natsume. Eto, whose real name was Atsuo Egashira, had served for the last five years as head of the Japan Writers Assn. He taught for many years at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and was a member of the Japan Art Academy. A native of Tokyo, Eto was outspoken about the state of politics in Japan and was known for his conservative critique of the country's postwar intellectual community. He had recently published an essay, "My Wife and I," describing his experience nursing his wife Keiko, who died of cancer last November. Friends said he had been despondent since her death. On Wednesday in Tokyo of suicide.

Aileen Gallo; Widow of Winemaker

Aileen Lowe Gallo, 86, the widow of winery co-founder Julio Gallo. In "Our Story," the book he wrote with his brother Ernest about their experiences establishing E & J Gallo Winery, Julio Gallo said he met his future wife at a Modesto High School after-graduation dance. He recalled borrowing a pen to write her telephone number on his shirt cuff. They eloped to Reno in 1933. Born in Manteca, Calif., Aileen Gallo moved to Modesto as a young child. In 1976, she and her husband purchased the McHenry Mansion and presented it to the city of Modesto for historic preservation. Her husband died in a jeep accident at their Modesto ranch in 1993. On Wednesday in Modesto.

Ludwik Gross; Cancer Researcher, Medical Journalist

Ludwik Gross, 94, who influenced cancer research by showing that viruses could cause cancer in animals. Gross' work won him an Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation prize in 1974. The Lasker jury said his findings opened the field of tumor virology in mammals and laid the groundwork for later discoveries of cancer-inducing viruses in other species. After immigrating to the United States from Poland in 1940, Gross worked at Jewish Hospital and Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. He served in World War II and then became chief of cancer research at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital in 1946. A medical journalist, Gross was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and wrote "Oncogenic Viruses," a textbook that became a standard in the field. His last article appeared in 1998 in the publication Proceedings. On Monday in New York of stomach cancer.

Arthur Katz; Created Corgi Toy Cars

Arthur Katz, 91, creator of the British collectible toy cars called Corgi. Born in South Africa, Katz was educated as a toy maker in Nuremberg, Germany, where he moved at the age of 12. Fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s, Katz moved to Britain. When he initiated his famous toy car line in 1956, Katz named it Corgi in honor of the British royal family's favorite breed of dog. He was best known for improving upon the typical die-cast metal toy cars by adding details, gadgets and gimmicks that thrilled children and adults. Among the details were plastic windshields, headlights, spring-mounted wheels and functioning doors. Mint condition Corgi cars from the 1970s now command prices in the hundreds of dollars. Corgi's most successful model was a miniature replica of the Aston Martin DB5 sports car driven by James Bond in the 1964 film "Goldfinger," complete with rotating license plates, hubcaps with tire slashers, machine guns that pop out from behind the headlights and an ejection seat. The cars were produced by Mettoy Ltd., which Katz founded in 1933 with a cousin. Katz served as managing director, deputy chairman and then chairman of Mettoy before retiring in 1976. Katz also headed the British Toy Manufacturers' Assn. in the 1950s and 1970s. He was named a commander of the British Empire in 1973. On June 26 in London; reported Wednesday.

Claudio Rodriguez; Spanish Poet

Claudio Rodriguez, 65, Spanish poet known for his down to earth themes and deeply symbolic language. Born two years before the devastating 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, he was imbued with a concern for the details of everyday life and a simple poetic style. He published the first of his five books of poetry in 1953, calling it "Don de Ebriedad," which had a double meaning of "gift" or "master" of drunkenness. Rodriquez also translated T.S. Eliot's poetry into Spanish, taught in the British universities of Cambridge and Nottingham and was a member of the Royal Spanish Academy, which monitors the use of the Spanish language. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts in 1993. On Thursday in Madrid of colon cancer.

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